Ethnopharmacological relevance: Costus afer Ker Gawl is an indigenous tropical African medicinal
used as therapy in the treatment of in?ammatory ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis. This
study was designed to evaluate the anti-in?ammatory and antioxidant activities of the hexane
fraction of C. afer leaves (CAHLF).
Materials and methods: The anti-in?ammatory effect of varying doses of CAHLF on
carrageenan, arachidonic acid, and formaldehyde induced arthritis in male albino rats' models were
investigated in order to study the acute in?ammatory phase. Complete Freund's Adjuvant
(CFA)-induced arthritis model was used to study the chronic in?ammatory phase. Two known
anti-in?ammatory drugs, Diclofenac sodium (non-steroidal anti-in?ammatory drug [NSAID]) and
prednisolone (glucocorticoid [steroidal drug]) were used as standards for comparison. Various
biochemical indices viz. superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferase
(GST), reduced glutathione (GSH) and malondialdehyde (MDA), aspartate amino transferase (AST),
alanine amino transferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin (TB), total protein
(TP), globulin and albumin levels were assayed using spectrophoto- metric methods.
Results: Control animals in which arthritis have been induced using carrageenan, arachidonic
acid, formaldehyde or CFA showed signi?cant increases (P o 0.05) in paw edema when compared with
normal animals. Treatment of the arthritis induced rats with CAHLF signi?cantly (P o 0.05)
suppressed the edema. in vivo antioxidant study showed that CAHLF treated animals had a
signi?cantly (P o 0.05) elevated GSH level, SOD, CAT and GST activities while MDA levels were
signi?cantly (P o 0.05) reduced in the plasma, liver, kidney and brain. CAHLF treated rats had a
signi?cantly (P o 0.05) reduced plasma AST, ALT and ALP. Plasma TP, globulin, TB levels were
reduced while albumin levels were elevated in CAHLF treated animals.
Conclusions: CAHLF possesses substantial anti-in?ammatory and antioxidant activities against
in?am- matory diseases especially arthritis. It could be considered as a choice candidate in
pharmaceutical anti- in?ammatory drug development.
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